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Research & Relationships

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Vinnie Newman

on 16 August 2013

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Transcript of Research & Relationships

I have always maintained that the customer list is the key to success with these (PHG) events. No one seems to use them effectively for follow up. My best practices would include a follow up e-mail to all listed; one customized to those who attended and one for those who did not. Further, I would send more detailed items (full hotel kit with photos, or a electronic link with information to those from the survey (and who I met at the event).

If the show proved to have significant interest in my hotel, I would be planning a return trip to the city 30-60 days following. I would also qualify key customers for FAM trips in this period of time.

I would alert the PHG National Sales Manager of key customers who have potential business and work out a "tag team" approach to gaining the business

-Steve Sampson - Task force DOSM with Pyramid Hotel Group

Meeting the client
Client List
Client Survey
"Business Updates"
(Customer Relationship Management)
What is your message?
Nothing looks worse than a generic email. They are proven ineffective and odds are... this will happen.
Electronic File
Telephone Call
Julie Stovroff - Preferred Hotel Group
Sr. Director, Group Sales - Insurance & Financial Services
2012 stats: $4.5 million in contracted revenue
"Outside the box" Ideas
Montage Deer Valley
Keynote for iPad Presentation
Follow Up
Social Event
Site Inspection
Sales Calls
Receive a
Outcome Scenarios
Google Fusion Tables
"Data Mapping"
Get on the short list!
Start by setting up your spreadheet - for this example, I've used our client attendee list from a recent Connecticut event.
Keep all important contact information including the address (needed for mapping), and add any other columns you'd like to display and report on. For this example I've added notes and hyper-linked their individual survey responses for easy reference.
Upload your .csv file...
... and data points are mapped...
...Click on any pin to see your data. Here we can see everything from our .csv file, plus use a hyperlink that takes us to that client's individual survey responses.
"Sales is all about relationship management and networking. Email doesn't get you in with the business, you need pick up the phone to talk to someone."

Selling points: Automatically turns business cards into electronic contacts by taking a photo / Free / Convenient / Saves Time / Reduces business card clutter / Robust
Step 1: Snap photo of business card
Step 2: Wait for results to come back
Now it's a simple one touch to to call, send an email...
...and view their full Linkedin Profile. It's also easy to add notes, putting your introduction into context...
... Then, back at the home screen, with a single click you can request an invitation to connect on Linkedin or save their contact record straight to your iPhone.
Honorable mention: Evernote Hello
Available with a LinkedIn Premium account (highly recommended -starting at $191/yr):
Some of the features:
Create Sales Alerts to stay on top of new leads
Example: Company you're watching hires a new meeting planner
Lead Builder to manage your pipeline to source and close deals
Premium advanced search filters to pinpoint the right leads
Full profile visibility on second and third degree connections
Let's talk about "Defining the Relationship"
On a contact's profile page you can click on
where you'll have the ability to...
...add notes regarding your discussion...
...set follow up reminders...
...define how you met & who introduced you....
...and "Tag" their profile for how you want to categorize the relationship...
...and finally, to see a list of profiles that you've tagged and categorized, navigate to "Contacts" under your "Network".
You can even target clients you aren't connected with.
*Best practice: Tag them as potential clients and start building your pipeline.
Building a client profile
At an event, trade show, conference, meeting, etc.
If you attend a PHG event, we provide you with additional client data including specific interest in the exhibiting properties, potential destinations for upcoming events, past event history, # of events planned annually, annual spend on hotels, sourcing timeline, specific types of event experiences they prefer, their preferred booking method, and additional services provided to groups (tours, transfers, etc.)
Information Gathering
First/Last Name
Telephone #
Email Address
Physical Address
Add new contacts to your system to continue to build their account profiles
When it comes to marketing, the more you know about your target customer, the more you'll be able to to create a specific experience catering to your customers' wants and needs.
Building Rapport, Trust, Credibility
Engage in conversation
Business Cards
Marketing begins straight away when you meet with anybody new, starting with yourself. You're the face of the brand out there in the field making new connections. In a New York University (NYU) study, researchers found that we make 11 major decisions about one another in the first seven seconds of meeting. In business interactions, first impressions are crucial.
Here are 6 ways to make a positive first impression:

1. Adjust your attitude - people pick up on your attitude instantly.

2. Straighten your posture - status and power are nonverbally conveyed by height and space.

3. Smile! It says, "I'm friendly and approachable."

4. Make eye contact - Looking at someone's eyes transmits energy and indicates interest and openness.

5. Shake Hands - This is the quickest way to establish rapport.

6. Lean in slightly - Leaning forward shows you're engaged and interested.
"Remember, very aggressive selling techniques are negatively associated with sales success." - Harvard Business Review
Consider an adaptive selling approach which warrants greater flexibility during the sales process, more thinking about the solution for the client, the benefit for your customer, and actually selling the value proposition.
"Collecting Information"
1. Collecting & organizing client information
a. Linkedin
b. Google Fusion Tables
2. Defining your message and finding your emotional benefit
3. Following up and moving the sale forward
Marketing Tip* - Build out the company team page and make it compelling. Select pictures that reflect your team and culture. This will help shape the "why" behind the property for your client to consume in a beautiful way.
Brand Awareness
Where the selling happens
Where deals get made
"Arrange for face time. Relationships are more powerful offline. There are countless online marketing strategies but business comes down to relationships and there's no better way to strengthen a relationship by taking it offline as often as possible. Use LinkedIn or Facebook to get a new connection? Great! Call them, meet them in person and get to know them on a personal level. It will do wonders for your business."
1. Be genuine & be yourself
2. Get active! Utilize the top three sites where your audience spends the most time.
3. Provide awesome content that provides value
4. Be smart with your time
5. Be consistent with your branding and messaging
6. Promote others
7. Connect face to face
8. Thank others - for their inspiration, support, help, guidance, & content.
"Likes & Followers"
"Photo Sharing"
Social Media
The Marketing Funnel
LinkedIn is–hands down–the most powerful business network online today, with close to 45% of its members being business decision makers
Organizing Data
Del Mar, CA example:
11 clients indicated they spend $1 million+ annually on hotels, with 4 of those clients
spending over $5 million. How will you get
a piece of the pie?
At event
Post event
A value proposition is a promise of value to be delivered, and a belief from the customer that value will be experienced.

It is also a positioning of value, where Value = Benefits - Cost (cost includes economic risk)

A deep knowledge of the potential / current customer base is invaluable in coming up with a strong value proposition. -- "#1 planner pet peeve is to pitch without learning needs" - Tim Ryan
Recap - Planner's preference to receive information:
Email - 81%
Direct Mail - 40%
Trade shows - 39%
Website (PHGmeetings) - 31%
Phone call - 10%
Social Media - 7%
Other - 3%
It would be interesting to compare the planner's preference to receive info vs. the effectiveness of each channel. But, until you really know what works best for each particular client, the best approach is to put together a follow up strategy using a mix of communication through a combination of distribution channels using the account data you've collected so far. We'll look at best practices for each, but first a couple of follow up tips...
Social Media Tips:
One of our dining options in the spotlight. How about a noisette of lamb?
Don't lose the opportunity to record the beauty of # Guaruja? Come back here!
Meet our accommodation. See the new album on our Facebook page!
Located opposite of Ensenada beach, the Casa Grande Hotel Resort & Spa is the perfect choice for those seeking comfort and good taste.
You deserve all the comfort and refinement for your rest time. Enjoy everything we have to offer and make your reservation!
Tombo Beach, Guaruja. Who likes?
Thank You.
Vincent Newman - Manager, Group Sales Technology
Final Thoughts
No matter all the data you've collected or all the different types of technology you can use, it all comes down to human relationships.
Use the data & the technology to gain a competitive advantage.
Be a master of your product and its unique selling points.
Know what your competition is doing.
Understand your clients "needs" but appeal to their "wants".
Tailor your messaging, and remember a good communication strategy should appeal to two parts. The rational and the emotional.
Have strong follow up in a timely manner (Persistence over resistance).
Be creative!
Address your customers needs but appeal to their "wants". Finding the "want" is key to building a stronger, more emotional connection with your customers. Through your daily activities with customers, start thinking about how you can connect more emotionally, moving them beyond just needing you to actually wanting you.
For an idea to have value in the world of marketing communications it must make you feel; it should provoke laughter, touch a nerve and create excitement for your property. There should be generosity of spirit in what we do. Even if we have messages for the head, we should always seek to gain entry through the heart. To be humanly relevant our work should be founded on emotion. That’s true for every kind of customer whether it’s a consumer or a business decision maker.

A good strategy should have two parts, the rational and the emotional - and don't think the rational isn't important, it is, but it needs to come together with emotion to form a powerful bond.
Balance of communication
Be smart with your time. When setting up appointments, prioritize who has the business.
Know what your competition is doing. You're not the only one reaching out.
When on the phone, keep the client focused, and make a concrete appointment to meet with them.
Don't be afraid to cold call, but make sure you're reaching out to the decision makers.
If you're taking over an account, setup a conference call and get their entire team on the phone and brief them on the company verbally. If you listen to their needs, have great enthusiasm, give them creative and fresh ideas, and go above and beyond... they will love you.
Tip: Instead of emailing your presentation, try presenting it collaboratively with a service like GoToMeeting. Benefits include screen sharing, recording the presentation, and HD video faces conferencing. $49/month or $468/year.
You are a part of an elite collection of some the best hotels on the planet. Being a part of an independent luxury brand is what separates you from your competitors which in turn can create a much stronger connection with your customers.
Find the emotional benefit
6 Tips for Following Up:
1. Set the tone - The tone of your communication should be fun and light, while remaining professional and respectful. You want to extend the great impression you made when you met in person.

2. Remember what was memorable - Did you meet at a unique venue? Maybe you tasted a special tequila for the first time together and danced in the basement of high end spa that turned in a disco after dark? Maybe they had a unique business card or told you an interesting story.

3. Jog their memories - Mention something you talked about to make them remember your discussion. Maybe it was something that interested them personally, or maybe it was something meetings or travel related. Say something like, "Your views on sustainable meetings were really refreshing," could work well.

4. Offer a compliment. Talk about their enthusiasm for their industry or their unique ideas and perspectives. Be sincere, and don't come across as though you're kissing up. Just let them know why you think you should continue the conversation.

5. Be a connector - Give the name of someone you think they should connect with -- someone who can help them in their business or use their services. Your PHG counter part perhaps?

6. Close the deal - No, don't pitch them or attempt to sell them something (unless they're ready.) Your objective is just to get a meeting. Suggest a time and place, and let them know you're looking forward to seeing them again.
Get a referral or a hot lead
FAM Trip
Notes from the field
What are some creative ways you can follow up with clients to keep your property in the front of their minds?
Here is an example of a follow up digital post card that The Allison Inn & Spa used to send to clients after a MPI event. "Picture's are worth 1,000 words and that's why I love 'em!" - Isabelle Edger, Communications Consultant, Edger Design
Find great templates and design ideas online
by using services like Paperless Post.
Every destination has a unique style, with it's own sense of identity and culture. Figure out how to pull on the emotional strings.
Popular food recipes that are that are tweaked with ingredients that are indiginous to your region
A fun social media contest
that involves a trivia challenge
or a photo contest?
What about a fast, fun, and interesting one page newsletter that talks about happenings around the property and other fun things going on in the region.
What about taking the time to do something proactive and thoughtful? Hand written notes for birthdays and special occasions such as anniversaries are a nice touch. Remembering dates is smart and it shows that you care .
To get them thinking
of your spa, send lavender
Company logo placed
on M&M and delivered to their office in mason jars
Julie Stovroff sometimes brings Lotto tickets to her sales calls and tells clients "You'll be a winner if you use me!"
Play to the seasons - send seeds to plant flowers with a creative message "Jump into Spring with Preferred Hotel Group."
A Sales Director's approach to organizing client data, and best practices for executing a follow up message.
Define the Relationship
Tip: If you need to send out several custom emails at a time, make the best use of your time and work smarter by setting up a mail merge with an excel spreadsheet. Now you can insert custom fields to make the message come across personalized.
Best practices for posting updates on Linkedin:
1. Post 3 updates per week, max.
2. Mix up your content.
* 30% hotel marketing
* 30% industry related news
* 30% content that gives value to your connections.
3. Gain more visibility in your posts by cross promoting in your messages (tagging others).
4. Enrich content by adding photos and hyperlinks.
Tag "Preferred Hotel Group"
Attach a photo
Paste link
to PHGmeetings.com
The final result
Content draws from PHGmeetings page
Home Page
Room Product
Exterior Property
Dining Options
Local Activities
The Destination
Let me show you how it works....
You're probably asking yourself, why do I care?
It lets you visualize where the business is coming from.
It helps you prioritize your follow up strategy by recognizing patterns and trends.
It helps you plan for sales trips by maximizing your time when you're out of the office on calls.
You can map, filter and sort any information you keep on a spreadsheet.
Honorable Mention
Research & Relationships
Here is an example of a video that Montage Deer Valley put together for Porsche before a site inspection. They made this by renting a car, placing a GoPro camera on the dash, and editing the footage together in iMovie. They ended up contracting the Porsche driving event at their property because of this.
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